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Starting Dreadlocks with Palm Rolls

Starting locks with palm rolls is a lot like starting locks with comb coils or finger rolls. The only difference is that you use your palms to form the lock. If your hair will form a natural coil you can usually start your locks this way. You can start any length of hair with this method.

Washing them

Until your locks start to actually lock, you will need to be careful washing them. Some people recommend waiting at least four weeks before washing. If you choose to wait that time you can clean your scalp with an astringent like witch hazel or Sea Breeze. For more information on washing locks see the section on Washing Locks


Locks started by palm rolling are usually maintained by twisting or palm rolling.


Most natural hair salons can start your hair for you with finger twists. Many offer twisting and palm rolling lock maintenance.

If you get your locks started in a salon it is usually inexpensive depending on your hair’s length.

Locks formed and maintained with this method usually have uniform length and width.

You final lock will have a uniform look from tip to base.


If you are looking for methods that are easy to do your self, this wouldn’t be one of them.


You have to be really careful washing your hair at first. If you work out a lot you may want to go for a method that doesn’t come a loose as easily.

If you get hand-in-your-head-itis (always twisting your locks) you can weaken your bases and cause your locks to thin.

It is very tempting to always have your hand in your head.

To keep the roots and bases of your locks looking neat you will need to re-roll/re-twist them after washing.

How To Start Locks with Palm Rolls

  • You will need:
  • Comb
  • Clips for sectioning hair
  • Holding agent

1. Start out with clean freshly washed hair.

2. Start in the back of your head.

3. Section off a piece of hair of hair.

4. Put a little gel on the piece of hair.

5. Place the section between your hands and use your palms to roll the hair clockwise until it forms a coil.

6. Repeat over entire head.

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